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Walt Disney World begins testing facial recognition technology

Testing will be conducted at the Magic Kingdom from March 23 through April 23.
Credit: AP
In this March 16, 2020, file photo, the entrance to the parking lot at the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World is closed in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

ORLANDO, Fla. — Could park-goers be using facial recognition to enter Walt Disney World in the near future? A test running at the Magic Kingdom is working to determine just that. 

Starting March 23, guests planning to visit the Magic Kingdom have the option to participate in trying out Disney's facial recognition technology.

The company says it is exploring this opportunity as a way to find innovative and convenient ways to improve guest experience, especially during the pandemic.

Testing will run for 30 days and is open to all guests with a valid theme park reservation. Anyone under the age of 18 is allowed to participate with the consent and presence of a parent or guardian.

"The technology we’re testing captures an image of a Guest’s face and converts it into a unique number, which is then associated with the form of admission being used for park entry," Disney wrote.

Here's what you can expect: 

Step 1: When you enter the park, you will need to get into the technology test lane. There will be signage to designate this area. 

Step 2: You will need to remove all accessories like hats and sunglasses, but will be required to keep your face covering on.

Step 3: Once you arrive to the test zone, you will face the camera and place your park admission or MagicBand close to the scanner to activate it. Your image will be captured and turned into a unique number associated with your admission.

Anyone who participates in the test and plans to return to the Magic Kingdom more than once during their visit is asked to use the system more than once to help Disney better understand the technology.

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